The Palestinian factions' reconciliations has Israel concerned for many reasons, but one of the major ones is the now-questionable continuation of the collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.
"The work vis-à-vis Palestinian security forces is very effective, and serves both parties well," military sources told Ynet Thursday.
"Any change to this delicate relationship would lead to a significant change in the West Bank and will mandate the IDF change its deployment in the area."
The impending peace deal between Hamas and Fatah is set to be signed next week. The defense establishment is still considering its potential implications and no one will venture a guess as to its actual, potential, results.
"Despite statements to the contrary in Egypt, we know that the deal between Hamas and Fatah is plagued by serious misgivings and differences that cannot be bridged easily," a military source said.
The latter further hedged that the "honeymoon period" between the struggling Palestinian factions was more a mirage than actual fact, saying "we still have to see how much truth there is to all of their declarations – we have seen such (reconciliation) statements in the past, and the differences quickly proved too vast to overcome."
Should a peace deal come to fruition, the source continued, "It will have significant implications for the Palestinian arena as a whole, but in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip. The IDF has several contingency plans and we will know to use them if and when the time is rights. In any case, such a deal is likely to rattle things up."
The GOC Central Command will have to see whether its work with the Palestinian security forces suffers any major changes in the next few weeks. The productive cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has been credited with significantly lowing terror threats in the area, and as a result – a decrease in IDF deployment.
Any change in the Palestinians' modus operandi in the West Bank will require the IDF to bolster its presence on the ground, especially in the more sensitive sectors.
Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier-General Nitzan Alon is expected to receive the Palestinians incident report regarding Sunday's shooting in Joseph's Tomb later on Thursday.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
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